Friday, April 25, 2008

Productivity Tips for Work-at-Home Parents

This article was submitted by Heather Johnson. Thanks Heather. If you have articles you'd like included, please do email me at And with that ... our article!

Productivity Tips for Work-at-Home Parents

Many parents dream of being able to work from home so that they can be the primary caregivers for their children. Thanks to a recent increase in available telecommuting positions, such as being a virtual assistant, that dream can be a reality. However, working from home with the kids can be extremely challenging at times. It takes an industrious freelancer to balance both work and family at the same time. Below are five productivity tips for work-at-home parents.

Establish Work Hours – Not only do you need to commit to a certain amount of work each day, you also need to know when to "clock out." While working from home, you may be compelled to keep working, even after you put in a full day. Let your family know what your work hours are and make yourself stick to them.

Take Advantage of "Nap Time" – If your children are still young enough to take naps during the day, consider yourself lucky. You can use this time to devote to work that requires silence, such as phone calls or intense concentration.

Set Boundaries – You need an area that is designated as your workspace. While you don't want to be a tyrant about this, your family should know to ask before they move/use anything in your home office. This is the same courtesy you would receive from coworkers in a traditional office.

Keep Emergency Distractions Nearby – If you really need to commit to some mission-critical work and your kids have other plans, make sure you have some sort of toy or movie that can entertain them for a bit. While you don't want to park them in front of the television all day, sometimes you will need to distract them while you put your nose to the grindstone.

Remain Flexible – Sometimes, even the tips above won't work. There will be days when your kids are screaming, your work is due and you haven't had a good night's sleep in a week. Don't panic! Instead of trying to make your family fit your schedule, just go with the flow until you can get things back on track.

Even though working at home will afford you many creature comforts and perks, there are unique challenges involved with the lifestyle. The most important thing to do is relax and be diligent. With the above tips, your work life and home life will hopefully have a more peaceful coexistence.

Heather Johnson is a freelance business, finance and credit writer, as well as a regular contributor for Business Credit Cards, a site for comparing best business credit cards. She welcomes questions, comments, and freelancing job inquiries at her email address .

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